News Digest 1-5-2021

Flash: Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn COVID Standard

New lawsuit alleges underground regulation and “ruinous consequences” for agricultural employers from emergency temporary standard. Will this be the one to kill the emergency standard? Workers’ Comp Executive


New Mexico judge rules medical cannabis use allowed while on house arrest

A New Mexico judge last week ruled detainees in Bernalillo County’s house arrest program may use medical cannabis while serving out their sentence. The president and CEO of a medical cannabis producer who says his company paid the detainee’s legal bills says the ruling is a step towards normalizing the therapeutic use of cannabis. NM Political Report


Five questions for Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis

The News Service of Florida posed five questions to Jimmy Patronis, who was appointed to his post in 2017, including one regarding presumptive eligibility for workers’ compensation in the commercial market. Florida Politics


Ohio first responders get victory in struggle for PTSD benefits

Ohio police and fire employees late last month won a long-fought victory when lawmakers approved a bill to establish a fund to pay for mental health treatment and lost wages for first responders who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. The bill calls for creation of a new state fund to pay lost wages and medical expenses for public safety officers suffering from PTSD as a result of their jobs and would prohibit employers from penalizing employees who file a claim with the fund. Journal-News


Cleveland company uses automation to supply Ohio BWC with protective masks

A Cleveland startup is using automation to produce millions of protective masks for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to provide free to companies the agency insures. The machines stitch each mask in six seconds and will enable the company to eventually produce 54,000 masks a day, according to the company’s president. Dealer


Indiana: Pulaski County commissioners choose new workers’ comp provider

Pulaski County, Indiana will be paying more for workers’ compensation insurance in 2021, but will no longer have to use an assigned risk pool. After discussing the options with the incoming commissioners, the board voted to switch the workers’ comp policy to BITCO, which reportedly may offer employee training to help minimize workers’ comp losses and reduce premium in the future. WKVI (Knox, Ind.)


Nevada justices rule injured alien entitled to benefits

The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that an illegal alien, who was severely injured in 2014 while working as a carpenter when a falling two-by-four struck him in the head, shoulder and back, is entitled to compensatory benefits from the company’s insurance provider. The insurer had appealed a hearing officer’s finding that the employee’s lack of status was not relevant to his request for permanent relief status, arguing an undocumented alien isn’t eligible for permanent disability. Nevada Appeal